The NHL will move its annual Combine for draft-eligible prospects from Toronto to Buffalo in 2015 and 2016, the league announced Monday.
The event, slated for late May or early June, will be held at First Niagara Center and the HarborCenter complex that is scheduled to be completed soon. The combine will feature the top hockey talent from North America and Europe before the NHL Draft is held in June.
"The NHL Combine is an essential event for all of our member clubs in advance of the draft, which continues to grow in importance," said Colin Campbell, senior executive vice president of NHL hockey operations. "The League has pushed to improve the Combine each year and the state-of-the-art facilities in Buffalo will allow us to further enhance the quality of the event for our teams, prospects and media."
Representatives from all 30 NHL clubs put potential draft picks through physical and mental tests and interviews at the Combine.
"We've had our eye on hosting the Combine for quite some time and we are thrilled that it will be coming to Buffalo," Sabres president Ted Black said. "(Team owners) Terry and Kim Pegula have made it a goal of this organization to create an environment here in Buffalo that is ideal for hosting highly visible events like the Combine and we are certainly ready to meet that challenge.
"All of our resources will be in place to ensure a successful event for the league and we're proud to have the next wave of NHL players pass through Buffalo."
HarborCenter is scheduled to open this fall in a $172 million hockey and entertainment complex connected to First Niagara Center in downtown Buffalo.